|First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Armenian SSR|
September 24, 1937 – November 28, 1953
|Preceded by||Amatuni Vartapetyan|
|Succeeded by||Suren Tovmasyan|
Grigory Artemievich Arutinov
November 7, 1900
Telavi, Russian Empire
|Died||November 9, 1957 (aged 57)|
Tbilisi, Georgian SSR
Grigory Artemievich Arutinov[a] or Grigor Artemi Harutyunyan (Armenian: Գրիգոր Արտեմի Հարությունյան (Հարությունով), Russian: Григроий Артемьевич Арутинов; November 7, 1900 – November 9,1957) was the First Secretary of the Communist Party of the Armenian SSR from 24 September 1937 to 12 March 1953. His tenure as first secretary was the longest in the history of the Armenian SSR.
Early life and career
Arutinov was born in Telavi, Russian Empire into the family of a small merchant and a winegrower. In 1911 he entered the Russian gymnasium in Telavi. He joined the Russian Social Democratic Labor Party (Bolsheviks) in 1919 and was arrested by the Georgian authorities in 1920.
With the establishment of Soviet power in Georgia, he became the head of the propaganda department of the Telavi district committee of the Communist Party of Georgia. In 1922 he was sent to study in Moscow, at the Karl Marx Moscow Institute of the National Economy. In 1924 he was recalled to Georgia and held various positions in the Communist Party bureaucracy in Georgia, eventually becoming secretary of the Tiflis city party committee in 1934.
Leader of Soviet Armenia
On September 15, 1937, at an extraordinary plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia, Arutinov was elected first secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia. Arutinov's predecessor, Amatuni Amatuni, was arrested on September 23 and later shot. Arutinov was recommended to the position by his boss within the Georgian party structure, Lavrentiy Beria. Arutinov had never lived in Armenia before the appointment nor did he know the Armenian language.
During Arutinov's tenure Armenia saw considerable agricultural and industrial expansion, with the capital Yerevan in particular enjoying significant growth and development. The Armenian National Academy of Sciences was founded and the construction of the main building of Matenadaran began. Additionally, from 1946 to 1948 some 100,000 Armenians living in the Armenian diaspora immigrated to Soviet Armenia, although some were settled not in Armenia but in Siberia. In 1945, Arutinov unsuccessfully appealed to Joseph Stalin to attach the Armenian-majority Nagorno-Karabakh Autonomous Oblast, which was part of the Azerbaijan SSR, to Soviet Armenia.
In 1949, under the orders of the Ministry of State Security of the USSR, approximately 12,000 people were forcibly resettled from Armenia to the Altai Krai. After the death of Stalin in 1953, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia passed a decision to allow the survivors of the deportation to return to Armenia.
After Lavrentiy Beria's arrest in June 1953, Arutinov came under fierce criticism due to his association with Beria. At the meeting of the plenum of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Armenia on November 28, 1953, he was removed from the post of the first secretary and replaced by Suren Tovmasyan.
Arutinov was married to Nina Geurkov. They had no children, but adopted Nami Geurkov, the daughter of Nina's brother Artyom Geurkov, who was executed in 1937. Nami Geurkov married Alexey Mikoyan, son of Anastas Mikoyan, and is the mother of Russian musician Stas Namin.
- Though Arutinov signed his surname Arutinov (Арутинов) on all documents, contemporary Armenian sources used the standard Armenian form Harutyunyan (Հարությու��յան). Some sources use the spelling Arutyunov (Арутюнов).
- Mirzoyan, Gamlet (March 2009). "Советские правители Армении: ЭСКИЗ седьмой - Арутюнян (Арутинов) Г.А." [Soviet Leaders of Armenia: Excerpt Seven - Arutyunyan (Arutinov) G. A.]. noev-kovcheg.ru (in Russian). Retrieved 2021-07-16.
- "Harutyunyan, Grigor Artemi". Armenian Soviet Encyclopedia (in Armenian). 6. Yerevan. 1980. p. 319.
- "Аматуни, Аматуни Симонович". www.alexanderyakovlev.org. Архив Александра Н. Яковлева - Альманах "Россия. ХХ век" - Биографический словарь. Retrieved 2021-07-13.
- Panossian, Razmik (2006). The Armenians: From Kings and Priests to Merchants and Commissars. New York: Columbia University Press. p. 361. ISBN 9780231139267.
- De Waal, Thomas (2003). Black Garden: Armenia and Azerbaijan through Peace and War. New York and London: New York University Press. pp. 137–140.